High time to revisit the Law of Return?

G-d  issued  10 Commandments to the Jews. Among these in the ninth, he commanded the Jews ”Not to bear false witness against the[ir] neighbour.”

Nevertheless, G-d  looking into the far future  and seeing the American and Canadian “liberal”,” progressive”  and  the ”leftist Jews” whose pro-Palestinian stance consists  of venomous criticism of Israel, thought that, without more, it may not be enough to keep them out of self-inflicted mischiefs.

Hence, he further commanded them: not to carry false rumours, (Exodus 23.1-3); not to commit offences against the truth;  not to  refuse to commit themselves to moral uprightness.(Leviticus 19.18); not to spread false reports (Exodus 20:16;Deutronomy 5.20;Exodus 23-1-2;Proverbs (19:5 and Isaiah 29:20-22).

Maimonides in Mishneh Torah listed, the following mitzvoth under  the heading of Laws of Character): to love Jews (Leviticus: 19:18); not to hate fellow Jews (Leviticus: 19:17); not to reprove; not to embarrass others, and not to speak derogatorily of others (Leviticus: 19:17), not fall in with the many to do evil (23:1-3).

I think that  the penultimate paragraph of the Israel’s Declaration of Independence as  a lay  short-hand summation  of the foregoing commandments. It reads: We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally around the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and up building and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realisation by them for the realization of the age-old dream-the redemption of Israel.

Surrounded by enemies who seek the destruction of Eretz Israel, the great struggle remains an on- going one since the proclamation of the Declaration.

To these, in lay terms, I would add the following paramount two –part commandments which my parents taught me-to which I added  in the course  of time, and by which, among others, I live:

First, never cease to abide by the appeal in the Declaration, to support the great struggle and stand by the Jews of Eretz Israel, the State, its government and the various emanations from the State

Second, never cease to defend Israel against all its enemies, and attack especially those Jews and Jewish  of  the Diaspora who act directly or indirectly, by commission or omission in a variety of ways against the State and the Israelis in breach of the true religious values of the Jewish people.

In operational   terms, the second part of the self-commandment translates to the following injunctions against such Jews and Jewish organisations and in particular the American and the Canadian ones:

  1. If you have nothing nice to say about Israel and the Jewish people, say nothing.

At all events, do not do or say anything that would confer upon the enemies of Israel, credibility, justification or comfort, or aid and abet them in their evil designs to destroy Israel and decimate its Jewish inhabitants.

  1. If you are called upon to say something about Israel, or you wish to do so, praise the Israelis’ accomplishments at home and their invaluable contributions to the health and well-being of the world and including to that of their foes who seek to destroy their country.
  2. When your people are both the military and political frontlines battling, as they have been since the establishment of the State of Israel, for the survival and security of Israel and its Jewish and loyal inhabitants , remember what the late Yitzhak Rabin once said: The trenches are not the place to argue against the merits of the government’s policies. Instead, join your people in whatever way you can to defend Israel and Jews their enemies.
  3. Do not be presumptuous or self –righteous enough to think that your personal misguided beliefs, honestly held, as they might be, affords  you a valid reason to breach your sacrosanct duty to respond to the appeal in the Declaration of Independence.
  4. Do not engage in any action that potentially could or would hurt the State of Israel and the Israeli Jews.
  5. Your people live in Israel, a sovereign country with a democratically elected Parliament by all of its inhabitants eligible to vote; if you want to criticise the government’s policies and indirectly the Israelis who in a manner of speaking voted the government in, first settle in Israel, acquire Israeli citizenship and share their trials and tribulations in dealing with the enemies that surround them.
  6. Your right to freedom of speech in the Diaspora does not entitle you to malign or criticise Israel wantonly or otherwise, in tandem with Israel’s enemies. By engaging in such speech you are not exercising your right but engaging in obscene and hateful speech, punishable under the law of any self-respecting country.
  7. In breaching the foregoing provisions of G-d’s commandments and the Jewish values flowing from these you are not only breaching  your sacrosanct religious and moral obligations to your people  but you are also endangering the lives and  the security of your fellow Jews in your who abide by the foregoing laws, proscriptions and prescriptions.
  8. Do not think that by helping the enemies of your people, you will acquire a safer, better and longer lease on life.

Based on my observation and assessment of the behaviour of the so-called “liberal “, “progressive” and “lefties”  of the American Jewish community and their perverse organisations such as “J Street”, “If Not Now”, “Jewish Voices for Peace”  not to mention the many others of the same ilk, stand in breach of just about every “ genuine” Jewish value pertaining to the matter at hand.

They are the nattering nabobs of destructive negativism with perverse so-called “Jewish values”.

The most recent illustration of the alleged Jewish values is that proudly practiced by Rahm Emanuel who advised President Clinton to refuse Prime Minister’s Netanyahu’s demand to allow Jonathan Pollard to immigrate to Israel: a perverse and gross act of inhumanity towards a fellow Jew whose trial, penal sentence and the conditions imposed upon his release have always been known to be an inexcusable gross travesty of justice. And to make it worse, Emanuel wrote about it with evident self-relish long years after the event to demonstrate that he does not have dual loyalt, when no one personally charged him with or accused him of having it.

Confronted with such an accusation, my Jewish values would instruct me to denounce the accuser publicly  and loudly as an incorrigible sick anti-Semite.

To date, the many efforts and attempts, to straighten out this malevolent crowd of   American and Canadian Jews, have come to naught. And judging by, for example, the existence of  Ilhan Omar’s  Jewish support  or the recent decision of U.S. Union of Reform Judaism’s  under some highfaluting  pretext to become  bedfellow  with Al Sharpton, a nasty anti-Semite who incited violence committed against Jews; barring a miracle or an Israeli revolutionary scientific development to fix the problem,  I fully expect this malevolent Jewry to carry on  as they have been.

In this state of affairs , besides  taking punitive action against this mob, I would suggest   that  the collective revulsion of the Jewish people  would be best express by revisiting The Law of Return of 1950,.

The Law of Return 1950

I propose that full consideration be given to amend the Law of Return and in particular sections 1  and  2 and in particular sub-paragraph 2(b)(1), of the law  so as deny  an oleh’s visa  to Diaspora Jews of the same ilk as the American and Canadian  Jews and Jewish organisation  described above.

The foregoing  provisions of the law  currently read :

  1. Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh.
  2. (a) Aliyah shall be by oleh’s visa.

(b) An oleh’s visa shall be granted to every Jew who has expressed his desire to settle in Israel, unless the Minister of Immigration is satisfied that the applicant

(1)  Is engaged in an activity directed against Jewish people;

(2)  Is likely to endanger public health or the security of the State, or

(3) Is a person with a criminal past, likely to endanger public welfare.

By way of suggestion and a first draft proposal, I would like to see the foregoing provisions to be amended to read:

  1. Every Jew has the right to come o this country as an oleh, unless the Minister of Immigration is satisfied that the applicant

(a)  Is likely to endanger public health or the security of the State;

(b)   Is a person with a criminal past, likely to endanger public welfare, or

      (c)    Is or has at any time engaged directly or indirectly, by omission or commission  in his personal capacity or as a member of  one or more Jewish or other organisation  in  hostile or  destructive attacks and activities against  the  Jewish people in the Diaspora and in Israel; the State of  Israel ,its government, judiciary, Parliament , all the emanations thereof and against Jewish  governmental and voluntary organisations  based in Israel and in the Diaspora.

-continuing with the current provisions

  1. (a) Aliyah shall be by oleh’s visa.

(b) Subject to the provisions of section 1, an oleh’s visa shall be granted to every   Jew who has expressed his desire to settle in Israel,

and inserting the following  provisions

  1. (a) An applicant  refused an oleh visa on  one of the grounds set out in  paragraph (c)  of section 1, is entitled to appeal against the Minister’s decision  by way of a petition to the Government of Israel.

        (b) The government of Israel has unfettered discretion, to dismiss the petition; uphold the petition in part subject to  the performance of such terms  conditions as the Cabinet in its unfettered discretion shall see fit to prescribe, and

(c) The Cabinet’s final decisions will be subject to the approval of the members of the Knesset by a free vote of conscience. 

In this connection, I would strongly recommend  that the rabbis adjudged  to have breached section 1(c) of the proposed amendments, be most severely treated and forbidden to practice their profession in Israel. This group would be followed by those a) who are a) well-schooled (even if not necessarily well educated); b) well-to-do, and c) to whom G-d has given so much and from whom much is to be expected,  followed by the rest of them.

As I drafted the foregoing provisions, I was reminded of Joan Swirsky’s observation, in Suicidal Jews published in Israpundit,  this past February 7. She wrote: We Jews are taught by our sages to accept and embrace all Jews, no matter their flaws or shortcomings. We are a tiny people and only by understanding the imperative for unity will we survive. Look for the good even in most egregious behaviour of our fellow Jew-does he or she help the poor, take in the widow and the orphan, and donate generously to charity et.al? Then accept that Jew, embrace him, love her.

I submit that those who act against the imperative for unity in the first instance, do not deserve to benefit from this particular teaching of our sages but leave the matter for the wisdom of Jewish law.

Then again, for Jews who do not accept the imperative for unity, except on their terms, I defer to the severity of G-d’s condemnation of those who breach his laws and edicts and to the ultimate outcomes of proceedings under the proposed amendments to the Law of Return.

Post-script

Quite recently, Israeli researchers have invented an artificial eye implant named CorNeat Vision designed to restore or provide eyesight to blind persons; and devised an epigenetic map that may lead to new therapeutic solutions to hearing loss.

For Heaven’s and the Jewish people’s sake when will they invent devices to help these North American Jewish nattering nabobs of destructive negativism r for that matter those in the Diaspora, to see what they have become, to watch and hear themselves breaching the commandments of G-d and ignoring the appeal in the Proclamation of Independence. Who knows, if not all, some of them might convert from their evil ways back to being the kind of Jews to whom the signatories of the Proclamation appealed.

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The writer does not belong to any particular Jewish denomination and practices only on High Holidays. He is simply a Jew proud of his people and its rich heritage and ready to defend Israel against its detractors, of which there seem to be no shortage of. He  raised his children as practicing Jews and passed on to them his  pride in the Jewish people.

About the Author
Doğan Akman was born and schooled in Istanbul, Turkey. Upon his graduation from Lycee St. Michel, he immigrated to Canada with his family. In Canada, he taught university in sociology-criminology and social welfare policy and published some articles in criminology journals After a stint as a Judge of the Provincial Court (criminal and family divisions) of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, he joined the Federal Department of Justice working first as a Crown prosecutor, and then switching to civil litigation and specialising in aboriginal law. Since his retirement he has published articles in Sephardic Horizons and e-Sefarad and in an anthology edited by Rifat Bali titled This is My New Homeland and published in Istanbul.
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